Google’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai on Thursday cancelled a town hall meeting that was meant to talk about gender problems in the company, Recode reported. Pichai cancelled the meeting after several questions employees had for the management began to leak online from the company’s internal messaging service, AP reported. Pichai said in an email to the staff that several employees had expressed concern about being harassed online after their names and questions were published on some websites.
The town hall meeting was intended to address employee grievances after a memo circulated last week claiming that biological gender differences helped explain why women are under-represented at Google. The engineer who circulated the memo, James Damore, was fired.
However, the Google CEO addressed a coding event for girls at the company’s campus later on Thursday, reported The Verge. “I want you to know there’s a place for you in this industry,” Pichai said to the finalists of an app-building competition. “There’s a place for you at Google. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You belong here, and we need you.”
Pichai said it was very important that more women and girls had the opportunity to “learn how to participate in technology, and code, create, and innovate.”